URGENT: Call on MPCA for FULL Environmental Review of Proposed Factory Hog Farm

LSP Members are Standing Up Against a Massive Factory Hog Farm Proposed in their Community in Fillmore County

Take Action by July 3 to Help Them Make History & Ensure this Factory Farm Undergoes an In-depth Environmental Review

Rural people know that factory farms harm the environment and viability of rural communities. Catalpa LLC of Waukon, Iowa, is proposing a massive 4,980-sow swine farrowing facility in southeastern Minnesota’s Newburg Township in Fillmore County. This factory farm will generate 7.3 million gallons of liquid manure a year. It will also use 8.8 million gallons of the area’s groundwater annually, for a total water consumption of 220 million gallons over 25 years. It is proposed in Minnesota’s karst area, which is composed of porous limestone that creates sinkholes and disappearing springs. This geology can allow surface pollution to enter the groundwater in a matter of hours.

By the hundreds, farmers and rural residents in Fillmore County are standing up and saying “NO.” On June 19, over 400 farmers and rural residents attended a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) informational meeting in Mabel, Minn., to voice opposition to this facility. From a show of hands, it was clear that only a couple dozen of the 400+ attendees present were supportive of the project. Thirty-two local farmers, parents, business owners, and rural residents testified about the harm this factory farm would cause to drinking water, property values, public health and the land.

Local farmers and rural residents are demanding an in-depth environmental review. Currently, the proposal is undergoing an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW), which is the first step in environmental review. The purpose of an EAW is to determine if an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed (the Environmental Assessment Worksheet is available here: Catalpa, LLC - EAW (p-ear2-144a). An EIS fully considers the impacts and analyzes how the project can be built in a way that mitigates potential environmental harm, or if it can be built at all without causing unacceptable environmental impacts. State law requires that if the project has the potential for significant environmental impacts, then there must be an EIS. This decision on whether to do an EIS is ultimately made by MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine.

ACT NOW and submit your comments to the MPCA's Charles Peterson at charles.peterson@state.mn.us by Tuesday, July 3, at 4:30 p.m. calling for an Environmental Impact Statement on the Catalpa, LLC factory hog farm. MPCA staff have never ordered an EIS on a factory farm, but we intend to make history. Local residents and farmers have already submitted over 300 comments calling for an EIS! They've brought to the attention of the MPCA that three of southeastern Minnesota’s 22 municipal sewage lagoons have already failed, nitrate levels in the area already exceed the state standard, and that the karst area is particularly vulnerable to groundwater pollution. Now add your voice to theirs. Personalizing your comments make them even more effective, and the MPCA is required to respond to everyone who submits a comment.